Tag Archives: UN


What Greta Thunberg told the UN: full speech (The Irish Times)

Small ads in irish newspapers in the 1950s and 1960s

This morning.

Today is International Day of the Disappeared.

The Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) has reiterated its call for the Government to ratify the UN Convention on Enforced Disappearances (CED).


‘It is essential that government appropriately address the potential enforced disappearance of hundreds, if not thousands, of children from mother and baby homes and the ongoing legacy of harm caused by this.

In particular, we point to the failure to locate the burial site of 836 children at the Bessborough Mother and Baby Home and the failure to exhume the burial place of 796 children at Tuam as two examples of practices that could constitute enforced disappearances in this country.

If ratified CED, the State would be obliged to prevent the withholding of information and to impose sanctions on those who have information and do not share it.

The Mother and Baby Homes Commission has said they believe information was withheld from them, and indeed that Church bodies provided information which was “speculative, inaccurate and misleading”.

CED would require investigators to have the necessary powers and resources to conduct the investigation effectively.

Through its continuing failure to compel witnesses to give evidence to processes of investigation, the State is helping to hide the truth and ensuring families of the disappeared remain in the dark.

If it ratified CED, the State would also be obliged to hold the perpetrators of these human rights violations criminally accountable. ICCL is concerned that the government’s current strategy of investigation is hindering future access to evidence, and thereby preventing prosecutions, by prioritising secrecy over transparency.

We are particularly concerned that the Retention of Records Bill, which is currently passing through the Oireachtas, will seal all evidence given to the Mother and Baby Homes Commission for 75 years.

This is particularly worrying given that An Garda Síochána could not carry out prosecutions stemming from the Ryan report because of the Commission’s similar terms of reference.

In 2016, when the UN Committee Against Torture demanded to know why there had been no prosecutions, the State reported that the perpetrators identified in that report could not be named.

This approach to potential evidence of criminal wrongdoing is inexcusable, particularly given all that has come to light over the past year, including the falsification of adoption certificates, the possibility that the state was complicit in what could be considered child trafficking, and the ongoing struggle of adoptees to access their basic information, including birth certificates.

ICCL has repeatedly called for information to be provided to those who were illegally or forcibly adopted in Ireland during the twentieth century but the State has yet to respond appropriately.

Despite numerous apologies and gestures towards restorative justice for survivors of the cruel and inhumane system of institutionalisation of the most vulnerable in this country, the State is still not living up to its obligations to survivors or families of victims.

It must act to properly address the ongoing legacy and harm caused by the range of human rights violations that occurred in these institutions.’

ICCL calls for action on disappeared children (ICCL)

Tonight at 8pm.

Frances Black Live.


Earlier: Meanwhile in New York

Independent Senator Frances Black in New York to deliver today to UN delegates her Irish bill to prohibit trade with ‘occupied territories’ around the world.

In fairness.

Occupied Territories Bill?

Related: Bryan Wall: Dear Minister

Previously: Why A Trade Ban Is Mandatory

Meanwhile, Outside Leinster House

At The Seanad

Prime minister of Belgium, Charles Michel

Last night.

Belgium Prime Minister Charles Michel offered his resignation to his country’s monarch King Philippe following a dispute with his former Flemish coalition partner, the N-VA, regarding the UN’s Global Compact on Migration.

Belgium will face a snap election next month.

The right-wing Flemish party quit the government after Mr Michel refused its demand to drop his support for the migration pact, and secured parliamentary approval to go ahead against its wishes.

It branded his weakened administration “the Marrakech coalition,” after the city where the accord was signed just over a week ago.

Its withdrawal left his French-speaking liberal MR supported only by two smaller Flemish parties.

The US dropped out of talks on the pact last year and countries including Italy, Hungary, Austria, Poland, Bulgaria, Slovakia and Australia have rejected it.

The deal is expected to be ratified at the UN headquarters in New York on December 19.

Belgium PM Charles Michel resigns after government collapses in dispute over UN migration pact (Telegraph)

Belgian PM Charles Michel resigns after no-confidence motion (The Guardian)

You report that the United Nations has found that Ireland is one of the best places to live. According to the UN’s Human Development Programme Index, we sit behind only Norway, Switzerland and Australia.

This is very strange because, based on a lifetime of reading The Irish Times and listening to RTÉ, I had assumed I lived in a backward, misogynistic, capitalist hellhole.

Karl Martin,
Dublin 13.

Ireland and living conditions (Irish Times letters page)

From top Croke Park on Saturday; Half-time video featuring Irish Rangers on manoeuvres


Croke Park, Dublin

Ros writes:

Was at the hurling semi final on Saturday. They had some of the armed forces out holding large flags at the beginning of the match to mark 60 years of Ireland in the UN. Fair enough.

At half time though they showed this video. Not sure what a video of people “locking and loading” rifles has got to do with peacekeeping, it was bizarre to say the least. Seemed overly militaristic.


This afternoon.

Rosie Hackett Bridge, Dublin 1

A coalition of Irish NGOs call for the government to follow through on “the promise Ireland made when signing the UN Sustainable Development Agenda” in 2015.

The grouping displayed a giant banner on Rosie Hackett Bridge and lead a march through Dublin City centre to mark the 2nd anniversary of the adoption of the Agenda 2030.

New world order, dude.




The Curragh, County Kildare

The 56th Infantry Group completed the first week of their ‘mission readiness exercise’ in preparation for their forthcoming deployment to the United Nations Disengagement Observation Force (UNDOF) in the Golan Heights in October.

Eamonn writes:

This phase of training is a culmination of three months of intensive preparation for deployment overseas. The Mission Readiness Exercise puts commanders and soldiers through a series of demanding scenarios based on potential threats that may be encountered in the mission area.

Troops secured, extracted and evacuated personnel involved in a complex scenario. The 56th Infantry Group will rotate into the mission area under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Dermot Hanifin. They have a wide range of capabilities including Armoured Force Protection, Patrolling and Mobility, Communications, Medical and Operational Expertise.


Defence Forces / RollingNews.ie


The UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women has published its latest findings on Ireland.

The Committee has urged “the State party” to, “within a specific timeframe” :

Amend article 41.2 of the Constitution in order to remove the stereotypical language on the role of women in the home;

Introduce legislative provisions that underline the obligation of the State to pursue actively the achievement of substantive equality between women and men; and

Amend article 40.3.33 of the Constitution (also known as the Eighth Amendment), which impedes the introduction of amendments to current legislation governing access to abortion…

…The Committee is particularly concerned that legislation which discriminates against women, or has a disproportionately negative impact on women, falls outside the scope of the Equal Status Acts 2000 – 2015.

The Committee recommends that the State party amends section 14 of the Equal Status Acts 2000-2015 to ensure that an effective remedy is available for discrimination that has a legislative basis.

There you go now.

Report here